In case you hadn’t heard, the latest “Star Wars” movie, called “The Last Jedi,” hit theaters on Dec. 15.
The sci-fi saga, which has spawned movies, TV shows, books, video games and about a million action figures over the past 40 years, is a worldwide phenomenon. Its movies have sold nearly $4 billion in movie tickets at the American box office alone. “The Last Jedi” will undoubtedly be another massive hit, as it’s already been a favorite of critics across the country.
Whether you’re a “Star Wars” virgin or veteran, we’ve got 28 facts about the iconic franchise that you might not know:
1. The First Movie Was Made For $11 Million
In 1977, 20th Century Fox wasn’t optimistic about its new sci-fi film and set a small-ish budget of $11 million for its production. By contrast, 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” cost an estimated $300 million to make.
2. The Original Script Was Seriously Epic
Writer-director George Lucas’ first script for “Star Wars” was more than 200 pages long, according to a 1980 special issue of Prevue magazine. That’s about twice as long as a typical screenplay. Lucas said it took him eight months to write.
3. Luke Skywalker Was Going To Be Woman
In the early stages of its development, Lucas wanted the hero of “Star Wars” to be a female named Starkiller. He then changed the character to a male named Luke Starkiller, before finally settling on the softer-sounding Luke Skywalker.
4. Chewbacca Was Inspired By George Lucas’ Dog
Lucas came up with the idea for the furry fan favorite Chewbacca based on his dog Indiana, an Alaskan malamute. Lucas said Indiana used to ride in the front seat of his car, which inspired him to give Han Solo a hairy co-pilot.
5. Fox Executives Thought Chewbacca Needed Pants
“Star Wars” star Mark Hamill told “Today” that he recalled 20th Century Fox executives complaining that Chewbacca was naked. He said they suggested the Wookie wear lederhosen or baggy pants.
6. The Millennium Falcon Was Based On A Hamburger
If for some reason you feel hungry when watching the Millennium Falcon fly through space, it’s probably because its design was partly based on a hamburger eaten by Lucas.
7. Some Of The Asteroids Were Potatoes
Speaking of “Star Wars” facts that will make you hungry, crew members recently revealed that some of the distant asteroids seen in the first movie were actually spray-painted potatoes. Hear about it in the video below: